Disney parks are filled with patterns, we just overlook them all the time trying to get to this attraction, or rushing to see the next show. Once you get an eye for spotting them they can create an image with real impact and can help you draw your focus into the picture and then wonder “Why didn’t I see that before?” See how repetition of the plants draw your eye further into the photograph.
When you have something repeat in an image it can add overall strength. Repetition is a basic concept in art. If it repeats once or twice it becomes more interesting. See how repetition of the alien toys make the image more interesting than just having one of them.
If it repeats many times it becomes a pattern. A pattern in your image is very pleasing to the eye. Repetition in an image often calms the viewer, making them feel comfortable while enjoying the image. It somehow brings order to the chaotic world. The first photo is very nice, shows off the logo and flag nicely. Now in the second Photo see how having multiples of them are very pleasing to the eye. Makes the logo and flags more interesting.
A single subject with a plain non-cluttered background has its strengths, but it is not the only way to keep your viewers’ attention. The goal here is not to just witness good photography, but to experience it. Therefor if repetition is used correctly, it can affect the emotional impact of your images.
There are many ways to show repetition:
- Repeating shapes - shapes are very effective in expressing repetition. Circles, squares, triangles and other geometric shapes are used in the composition.
Here we have a close-up of the triangles that make up Spaceship Earth.
- Repeating color - colors are another way to show repetition or patterns. Even if the shape is not the same, the balance can still be maintained by having the same color shown at certain areas of the photo.
Not only do we have a repeat of the pattern but of the color too.
- Repeating lines - this can almost immediately strengthen the image’s composition. Repeating lines can draw and keep the viewer’s attention. Parallel lines are often found to be pleasing to the eye because of the rhythm they convey. Vertical and horizontal lines are considered mor static than diagonal lines which convey movement and have a dynamic effect.
The repeating lines of the lamp posts draw your eyes into the photograph .
Now there are three techniques for capturing repetition in your images, emphasizing it
, breaking it
, and a repeat of an object
Emphasize the Pattern
Filling your frame with a repetitive pattern will give the feeling of size and a large quantity. The best way to show this is to zoom in so the pattern fills the frame, even if the pattern breaks just outside of the frame it will seem to be continuous and go on forever. The bottles stop just outside the frame but it looks like it can go on forever .
Breaking the Pattern
Now remember too much of a good thing can become bad and boring. If all your images are the same patters over and over the view will think you’re a one trick pony, and move along. The most common way to keep repetition from becoming boring is to break the pattern. Here you want to capture the interruption of the pattern. Broken repetition might include contrasting objects (color, shape, texture) or removing one of the objects. This is known as creating a “Spot”. A spot is nothing more than the deliberate use of opposition to force the viewer to look again and again.The lights on the Contemporary Resort form the pattern, but see how the green light draw your eye to it because of the different color in the pattern .
Like the other photography design principles, you do not necessarily need to utilize repetition in every image. Repetition is a design principle that can end up allowing you to compose a visually striking image from a series of source objects, depending on what your concept is and how you want your image to appear. Try using repeating objects, specific images, or similarities to illustrate a point or visual motif that you like. Oftentimes the use of repetition may actually come at odds with other principles of photography design. This is often one of the key aspects of abstract photography. Here are two more examples of using repetition and pattern in your photographs.